The ninth annual Run For Inclusion 2023 witnessed a gathering of over 2,000 participants at the Singapore Turf Club (STC) yesterday. Organised by Runninghour, an inclusive sports co-operative, the event showcased unity as participants engaged in running, walking, or cycling over various distances, all with the aim of promoting inclusion.
Run For Inclusion 2023 celebrated the spirit of sportsmanship and extended its support to individuals with special needs, including those with sensory impairments, developmental challenges, and neurological impairments, such as autism or intellectual disabilities.
Mr. Chan Chun Sing, the Minister for Education, graced the event as the guest of honor and flagged off the running categories.
Run For Inclusion 2023 featured a range of activities, including 3km and 5km runs and walks, a 10km run, and an 18km bike or hand cycling ride, which also offered a tandem option tailored for persons with special needs.
This is the second year Asher and I participated in Run for Inclusion and we really enjoy the camaraderie we witnessed for both years. You will see caregivers and volunteers running alongside people with various special needs, cheering them along to complete the run together. It is not about how fast we complete the race, but that everyone complete it together, leaving no one behind.
With the recent announcement of the pending closure of the Singapore Turf Club in 2027, the last race meeting will take place in October 2024. As such, Asher and I took the opportunity to take some photos for the memory during the run, as this year could potentially also be the last time the Run for Inclusion will take place at the Singapore Turf Club:
A highlight of this year’s event was the much-anticipated return of the Blindfold Walk, following a three-year hiatus. Participants in this unique walk experienced being visually impaired by wearing blindfolds and partnering with a sighted person for 500 meters, before switching roles for the next 500 meters. This experience offered insight into the challenges faced by visually impaired individuals and fostered trust and reliance among participants.
In line with tradition, Runninghour provided complimentary slots for all persons with special needs and their caregivers through the ‘SoleMate’ program, in collaboration with the Central Singapore Community Development Council. This year’s event received support from prominent partners, including the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Singapore Foundation, STC, and SportCares.
For the second consecutive year, STC served as the corporate partner for Run For Inclusion, showcasing its commitment to inclusivity with the largest race contingent to date. A total of 330 STC employees, along with their friends and families, participated, collectively covering 180 kilometers in commemoration of STC’s 180th anniversary.
To mark this milestone, STC donated $32,400 (calculated as $180 multiplied by 180 kilometers) to Runninghour.
“Singapore Turf Club is honored to support social initiatives such as Run for Inclusion,” Shared STC Chief Marketing Officer Christina Chua. “Giving back to the community and supporting inclusivity are among our core values as the oldest social club in Singapore. We have long supported a variety of social causes through close collaboration with advocacy groups and community partners.”
The donation will further Runninghour’s regular programs, including weekly runs, yoga sessions, and outreach efforts aimed at encouraging school leavers from special schools to embrace sports.
“We are thrilled to witness the incredible turnout at Run For Inclusion 2023,” added Runninghour Executive Director, Jasmine Chan. “This event serves as a testament to the power of unity and inclusivity, where persons with special needs and individuals from all walks of life come together to celebrate diversity. With the unwavering support from our partners and participants, we are paving the way for a more inclusive Singapore.”